NMSU Theatre presents two staged play readings, March 4-5

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The New Mexico State University Theatre Department continues with its High Desert Play Development program with the staged readings of two new plays.

“Deal Me Out,” by MJ Halberstadt and directed by Theatre Department Assistant Professor Nichole Hamilton, will be performed at 7:30 p.m. Friday, March 4. The Theatre Department will present an “Evening of Excerpts by Local Playwrights,” directed by Theatre Department Associate Professor Larissa Lury, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, March 5.

Both performances are at the ASNMSU Center for the Arts, 1000 E. University Ave.

The suggested donation at the door is $5.

The cast of “Deal Me Out” includes Austin Reeve, Riley Merritt, Jordan Egan Harris, Charles Okpala, Esther Rogge, Mattie Ruminer and Jensen Stell. Mike Wise is the production stage manager.

“Deal Me Out” takes place in November 2016, “shortly after an important election,” the NMSU Theatre Department said. “A group of close friends, bound by their love for game nights, has gathered for a fateful roll of the dice. This comic drama takes a closer look at the collision of privilege and politics.”

Halberstadt is a playwright and teacher living in Portland, Oregon. His work “examines the nature of community, ‘safe spaces’ and queerness,” the Theatre Department said. “An avid knitter and alumnus of Boston University and Emerson College, Halberstadt has taught classes in dramatic writing and served as a Founding Playmaker Emeritus of Bridge Repertory Theatre. He is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc. Visit MJHalberstadt.com.

"Working on this play in 2022 is unique as it gives us an opportunity to look back at a crucial moment in the United States and explores how political choices can have crushing effects on group dynamics,” the play’s director, Nichole Hamilton, said. “The metaphor of games asks us to examine the rules, strategies, and obstacles that prevent us from progressing."

MJ Halberstadt